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Thread: What's the biggest key?

  1. #1
    Member cincrazy's Avatar
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    What's the biggest key?

    The biggest key for the Reds to take the next step forward and make the playoffs next season is (fill in the blank).

    I'll fill the blank in with "Edwin Encarnacion giving us a legitimate run producing bat in the cleanup spot." Believe me, I know that this team needs a lot of good things to happen this year to compete, especially on the mound. But I honestly believe that Edwin reaching "the next level" can get this team that much closer this year.

    If he can realize even more of his potential this year, he'll give Dunn some protection and take a lot of the load off of Griffey's shoulders (which is way overdue). Throwing an RBI machine into the middle of that lineup instantly changes things (I'm sorry, I don't nor will I ever, consider Adam Dunn an RBI machine). It makes Freel and Deno and other's more dangerous at the top of the lineup, and gives the Griffey's and Dunn's of the world more pitches to see.

    Granted, we need another good starter or two, and someone to emerge as the closer in a bullpen whose average age is 45, but this team desperately needs power, and if someone doesn't step up, it might actually not MATTER how well we pitch (Well unless we pitch like the Minnesota Twins, and we all know that we don't have that kind of potential). If someone doesn't step up, this team is in danger of falling even farther in the offensive rankings than it did last year, and another significant drop would doom us.

    Here's hoping EE has a breakout season, takes pressure off of the hitter's around him, but more importantly, takes pressure off of our PITCHER'S, so that they can go out and throw 6 innings of 3 or 4 run ball and feel like they give us a great chance to win. If EE doesn't have a breakout year offensively, I don't know who else in that lineup could (from a power standpoint anyways). Here's a toast to EE making GABP his personal launching pad this season!

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  3. #2
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: What's the biggest key?

    I agree about the serious need for power. I already have Dunn, Griffey and EE chalked up as providing it, but the team needs one more reliable slugger in addition to those three to be competitive offensively IMO.

    I'd say a repeat from David Ross over a full season of plate appearances is the key to this team being at least average offensively.

  4. #3
    Member icehole3's Avatar
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    Re: What's the biggest key?

    The key every year throughout the whole organization up and down, every level of our major league and minor league teams is pitching. We must pitch well and draft more good pitching this year. Any progress in the area of pitching will improve our chances for this year and the next.

  5. #4
    Ripsnort wheels's Avatar
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    Re: What's the biggest key?

    Once again, we're stuck with hoping for career years out of guys that wouldn't normally be counted on as key components.

    I think we'll see continued improvement out of Phillips and Encarnacion, but that alone won't cut it.
    "We know we're better than this, but we can't prove it." - Tony Gwynn

  6. #5
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    Re: What's the biggest key?

    I say the key is Junior. If he's in CF batting third opening day, it'll be difficult to be excited about the season. If he's in right batting fifth, to me it will signal a crucial adjustment in his role. I'd love to see Dunn, EE, Jr. batting 3-4-5 all year. I know batting order isn't supposed to make a big difference, but Dunn's numbers are way better when he has some protection.

  7. #6
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    Re: What's the biggest key?

    Pitching. Although I don't think Homer Bailey will be brought north to begin the season, maybe by May he will be pitching for the Reds. The bullpen improving is obviuosly a key.

  8. #7
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    Re: What's the biggest key?

    Devolpment of players that can step in and perform. We lack solid minor leaguers who can step in over the long haul and perform league average while our "superstars" rest.


    Giving some of our guys a few more days rest last year might have meant the world to them both pitchers and batters alike. If we had a good flow of talent coming from the system we could do that with very little effort and still contend.

    It starts from the ground up to the majors.
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled."
    -Hunter S. Thompson

  9. #8
    Member DannyB's Avatar
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    Re: What's the biggest key?

    Narron and staff will be the key I think.
    Cut down on the goofy lineups.
    Dont give guys days off till they need them.
    Dont leave pitchers in too long or take them out too soon.

  10. #9
    Miami Redhawks Redhook's Avatar
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    Re: What's the biggest key?

    The biggest key is to keep the core of this team intact for 2008 and beyond. Don't overtry to compete this year and decimate the core of the team for future years. This team can and will be good. I just think it won't be this year so patience is paramount.
    "....the two players I liked watching the most were Barry Larkin and Eric Davis. I was suitably entertained by their effortless skill that I didn't need them crashing into walls like a squirrel on a coke binge." - dsmith421

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  11. #10
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: What's the biggest key?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redhook View Post
    The biggest key is to keep the core of this team intact for 2008 and beyond. Don't overtry to compete this year and decimate the core of the team for future years. This team can and will be good. I just think it won't be this year so patience is paramount.
    Agree. I'd add that they should be using some younger guys in the roles up for grabs to see if they can add to the core.

  12. #11
    Miami Redhawks Redhook's Avatar
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    Re: What's the biggest key?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    Agree. I'd add that they should be using some younger guys in the roles up for grabs to see if they can add to the core.
    Exactly. How do you know if they're good or not until they're given the chance? Some will succeed, some will fail. At least you would know what you have, and for a decent price.

    Also, this has been noted before, but I believe in acquiring as many top-notch players as possible and fill in the rest of the spots with cheap fillers. Not $2-$4 million fillers as the Reds are doing. I know it's not as easy as it sounds, but I'd much rather have Jason Schmidt or Barry Zito over Stanton, Weathers, Conine, Cormier, Lohse, etc. Add up all that and you could easily afford a top-notch player. I understand they may not want to play here, but some of them eventually will. Having a solid core of great players and filling the rest with low-cost fillers is the way to build a great team, IMO. Having a couple of great players and filling the rest of the roster with average players is a perfect way to build an average team. And that's what we have here.
    "....the two players I liked watching the most were Barry Larkin and Eric Davis. I was suitably entertained by their effortless skill that I didn't need them crashing into walls like a squirrel on a coke binge." - dsmith421

    www.kylevoska.com - Golfer? Check out my blog for golf tips.

  13. #12
    Member Red Heeler's Avatar
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    Re: What's the biggest key?

    For the Reds, or any other team for that matter, to reach the playoffs, they need the following components:
    1. High OB lead-off hitter.
    2. Out and out slugger.
    3. 2 hitters who can produce an above average OPS, though they do not have to be big HR hitters.
    4. Starter who can regularly dominate the other team.
    5. Above average starter.
    6. League average starter.
    7. Lights out closer.
    8. If a team has those 8 players, the rest of the team only has to be in the neighborhood of positional league average.

    How do the Reds stand?

    1. Some combination of Freel and Deno should fill this role nicely.
    2. Dunn.
    3. If EdE can continue his development, that takes care of one of these. Junior may fill the second when he can take the field, though last year his OBP was poor. Votto coming up early and duplicating EdE's offense from last year would be big.
    4. Harang at times is just the ticket here. Unfortunately, he doesn't dominate often enough to be a shoe-in.
    5. Arroyo if he comes close to repeating '06.
    6. Ehhhhhhh.
    7. Errrrrrrrrr.
    8. If some combination of Votto, Conine, and Hatte can manage to be an average 1B for the season, then the lineup is not bad. At least the Reds weakest bats are at positions where most other teams have weak bats as well. The sinking of the Reds ship will be the inability to field 3-5 starters who are likely to put up better than 5th starter numbers, the lack of a top shelf closer, and the lack of a reliable bullpen to bridge the gap.

  14. #13
    Member Redlegs's Avatar
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    Re: What's the biggest key?

    I can't believe nobody has said defense. This team was horrible defensively last season. The other keys you guys stated are noted, but I think this team needs to play sound defense particularly up the middle.

  15. #14
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    Re: What's the biggest key?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redlegs View Post
    I can't believe nobody has said defense. This team was horrible defensively last season. The other keys you guys stated are noted, but I think this team needs to play sound defense particularly up the middle.
    I think we all feel as if Agon and Phillips have that covered with the Griffey to right move
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled."
    -Hunter S. Thompson

  16. #15
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    Re: What's the biggest key?

    The backend starters performing at a league average level.

    Close second: Junior moving to right.


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